People LTV

On the theme of launching, I think one of the inverted conversations I find myself in is helping friends and young people value relationships more than money. Business is people. People do business with you because:

  1. They like you
  2. They know what you do

That’s it.

Furthermore, you become valuable in the eyes of others because you create value. In case this word is too conceptual, value is about others valuing you and what you do for them. This can come in so many forms, but a few examples:

  • Introduce your friends to someone that can help them
  • Do something nice for your friends’ kids
  • Share specific health resources that can help them get stronger
  • Solve a technical problem for your friend or prospect
  • Treat them to an event they will love and remember
  • Be a giver. Always.

Sometimes, you can actually solve a problem and do work above and beyond what is asked. Perhaps you have some IT skills and your friend is stuck. How about taking some time to solve it and share the resolution with them. This is huge value for someone that is bottlenecked.

There was no contract. There is no agreement. They experience how you work without a formal agreement.

Imagine that you focus on helping people that you want to do business with. And your value translates into a stronger relationship. Guess what? You earned trust. Trust trumps transactions.

Contrast that with a formal proposal process that you work at. You put hours of thought, structure and strategy into your proposal. You have to prove yourself. The whole exercise is because of low trust. You are an unknown and the ritual helps reduce perceived risk.

If you can get right into a project, solve problems and show value, that speaks volumes. That creates relationship. It may feel risky, but I think this is a much more lasting way of doing business.

Make friends. Create value for your friends.

Also, keep increasing in your skills and friendships to be able to share these with those needing solutions.

Transactions are hard and short-lived. You have to work in market norms and scrutinize the details, the costs, and the work.

Relationships are long-term. They multiply in effect. They are more fun for business. You can get imaginative. You go above and beyond. It starts a flywheel of giving and receiving. And you get paid along the way.

LTV stands for lifetime value. It’s a business metric that is a powerful anchor to wealth and growth. If you have a one-time customer that paid you rightly for $500, you have to work hard at creating many transactions. Your LTV is a dead end.

If you are in the people business, making friends and adding value, your lifetime value could be hundreds of thousands of dollars per customer, per friend. You think about,

“How can I add more value to this relationship?”

“How can I be more valuable to my friends?”

“What can really help my friends in a big way?”

People LTV starts with a different mindset. You see the people and you care. You are creative. You give value first. You are eager and excited. Money happens to be the recognition of that value.

What can you do now for someone that needs a problem solved?

P.S. If some deals don’t work out, as many don’t, think LTV. Think long-term. Play for the relationship more than the transaction. New problems with your friends tend to come around. Goes for employees, vendors, and family also.

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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